A CONCRETE PROJECT
Over the past few years several initiatives have sought to generate new alternatives for the women involved in the extraction process in Ribeira da Barca. However, despite best endeavours, these have not had a lasting impact. One of the objectives of the Impact project is to become a concrete long-term project, lasting beyond our presence in Ribeira da Barca and beyond the duration of the Porto Design Biennale.
Our proposal is to develop a construction component and a process for its production, with the women of Ribeira da Barca, which will have some permanence. That component is a paving block, based on cape-verdean panudi terra [panu di terá?] heritage, an element which is both historic and current on the island of Santiago. A first phase consists of prototyping and testing different consistencies of mortar, different quantities of aggregates and crushed plastic, as well as different pigments available locally.
During our stay, our objective will be to develop a 'product' with a commercial value, which can be produced by the women and that, long-term, can become a process they have ownership of. The aim is to provide the women with a new goal, to provide them with the tools to allow them to produce the product, eventually distribute it and manage the process.
The project is an opportunity to create a local paving system, rooted in Santiago heritage, that could become widely used on the island and a more sustainable alternative by:
- reducing the use of aggregates, the need for their extraction and damage to the coastline;
- reusing plastic, a material otherwise relegated to landfill on the island;
- creating a local product, made with local materials and labour;
- creating a more dignified labour process;
- improving the lives of the local women involved in the process, and of the wider community as result;